MIDDLETOWN – A statewide initiative to refer civil cases to Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) was recently announced by the New York State Unified Court System. Family and Supreme Court cases will be included in this initiative. This will greatly benefit New Yorkers in providing them with a means to settle peacefully at the onset of a case and avoid the time and expense involved in any further litigation. Mediation is a confidential settlement process that occurs with a neutral third party, a mediator, who helps the parties arrive at a mutually acceptable agreement.

This initiative came about as part of the Chief Judge’s Excellence Initiative through Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. It will increase the need for volunteer mediators at the Dispute Resolution Center (DRC.) For information about becoming a mediator, contact Jolynn Dunn, Regional ADR Coordinator at DRC-8771 ext. 5001 or adrregional@drcservices.org.

DRC is a nonprofit center that provides mediation, education and training in Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster Counties. Most mediation services are free or low cost. For more information about DRC contact Donna Ramlow, Executive Director 845-DRC-8771 executivedirector@drcservices.org or visit drcservices.org.